real life

Happiness hit: A deaf girl teaches her deaf puppy sign language.

This might be the sweetest story you hear hear all week. A deaf 10-year-old girl named Julia is teaching sign language to her deaf puppy, Walter. The two best friends, who were both born deaf, found each other in January when Walter was adopted from the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA at two months old.

Walter, a terrier-chihuahua mix, was the last of his litter to be adopted because of his hearing impairment. He was overlooked by many people looking to adopt because he was deaf, but the shelter knew he was specialand so did Julia.

Their touching friendship went viral when the Pasadena Humane Society posted a video on their Facebook page chronicling their story, gaining over 646,000 views and 18,000 shares. Jamie Holeman, community relations associate at Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA, spoke to CBS News about the flood of positive reactions, saying “It’s really amazing to see how this video is affecting and touching people in different ways. We’ve noticed among the deaf community this video has struck a particular chord.”

Walter and his little girl Julia share an incredible bond

Meet PHS alum Walter and his little girl Julia. They share an incredible bond. Both were born deaf. Julia and Walter play together. Walter helps Julia with her homework and Julia teaches Walter sign language. Walter is Julia’s best friend.

Posted by Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA on Tuesday, 28 June 2016

As Julia practices learning sign language, she’s made Walter her fellow study buddy. So far, she’s remarkably taught him how to sit, ask for food, water, and respond to his name. Chrissy, Julia’s mom, says they’re always with each other: “They’re the same. He waits for her to finish her homework and then they’re off to go play in the yard.”


The world can be cruel to people and animals with disabilities, so it’s refreshing to see love abounding in stories like these. Julia and Walter show love comes in different shapes and forms. It’s just about understanding.

Listen: Sorry to all the parents of fur babies, but they’re just animals. (Post continues after audio.)

Chrissy understands this well, which is why she knew Walter would become part of the family the moment he and Julia met. “When I first held Julia, since she couldn’t really hear, she would smell my neck,” she says. “And when I first held Walter he did almost the same exact thing. I remember just looking at him, and I knew that he was meant to be ours.”

To quote the brilliant Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Love is love is love is love is love,” no matter what it looks like or who it comes from.

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